Takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to certify a car. When I'm on the road, I treat all cars the same way. The stampings and trim tag are verified and compared to the photo data base that I have. Any incorrect components are flagged on the report, any repro parts are flagged on the report and any original paperwork is examined and copied. Dozens of photos are taken of all of the above. Very much like we do when we're certifying the cars in the Legend Concours judging at the Camaro Nationals. I also have to be able to get under the car to examine everything. If there is no lift, then I need a roll jack and jack stands. I tell everyone this ahead of time before I get there.
This job is like anything else, you need the years of experience to really go on the road and do this. People who are not hands-on with working on cars are at a disadvantage. In some cases, I have to remove the cowl panel, valve covers and alternator.
I noticed comments on another site about certifications and what's involved. Some of the comments seemed to think that when you pay to have an appraiser come out to verify and certify your car, it's a guy with a pocket protector wearing thick glasses and just checking off a list or boxes on an appraisal form. I can assure everyone that what I do is a lot more involved, trust me. Every report that I write takes time and it's a long tedious process. When I sign my name to a report, everything has to be clear as I never know when I can be taken to court as an expert witness........and I've been in a court room more times than I'd like to say. With all the fraud going on today, judges are becoming more aware about classic cars, their values, and when someone is ripped off.
There are also ethics rules that have to be followed. There are protocols that have to be followed as a licensed certified appraiser too. And if you break those rules, you can lose your licensing and privileges if you are not consistent or honest with all certifications that you perform. Again, this is just the short version of what's involved.
Being I have dedicated most of my life to these vehicles, it's a labor of love to do what I do. The fact that I've been around these cars since they were new does help in my processes as a hobbyist and certified appraiser. I've been hands-on since I was 19 years old, but let me assure you this, I am still learning more about these cars at middle age. This is an on-going process that will continue way past my lifetime I'm sure. As long as there are people who appreciate these vehicles as we do today, the hobby and interest will continue for many years to come. Seems we always learn something new at the Camaro Nationals ever year!
The only tragedy that I see is there are many involved in the hobby today that are not car enthusiasts, many are investors. In the long run this does hurt the average guy who wants to buy a '69 Camaro to rekindle a car that they might have bought new. The cars are more expensive today. 1969 Z28s are off the charts now. Everyone wants one! Considering there were 20,000 made, average '69 Z28s that I inspect today with suspect drive trains, no paperwork and many component issues are selling in the $70-80K range. It's just part of the hobby that we all have to deal with. If you own a nice pedigree Camaro today, count your blessings. From what I see on the road for sale today, there is not much out there. All of the nice cars are in homes under a car cover.